Listen – Journalist Suing Yellowstone Over Bison Culling Makes His Case
A journalist is suing Yellowstone National Park over its procedures regarding the park’s bison culling operation. Chris Ketcham, a contributor to Harper’s Magazine, explained his lawsuit to KGVO news this way:
"I'm suing the National Park Service and Yellowstone, specifically to gain access to their bison slaughter operation," Ketcham said. "[...Bison] effectively belong to the public, or are held in trust by the government for the public, I'd like to be on-hand to directly observe the round-up, hazing, harassment and trucking to slaughter of these animals."
The culling operation is partially the result of years of negotiation between groups representing Montana ranchers and the state of Montana, so the Big Sky State has a big role to play in this debate. Ketcham said, ideally, he would like to see bison roaming free in areas outside the park as well.
"Indeed, it would be allowing these animals to migrate at their will. Look, if they are migrating on private land that's one issue, but if they are migrating on public land, well, it is public land, it belongs to the bison too, not just the stock men and cowboys."
The fight between cattle and bison interests appears to be at the fore of this lawsuit as well. In a press release associated with the lawsuit, one of Ketcham’s attorneys, Justin Marceau, described Montana cattle as “an invasive species.”